Acts 12:20-25 (JDV)
Acts 12:20 Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. With the same passion they presented themselves before him. After persuading Blastus, who was in charge of the king’s bedroom, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food from the king’s country.
Acts 12:21 On an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the platform, Herod delivered a speech to them.
Acts 12:22 The assembled people began to shout, “It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!”
Acts 12:23 At once an agent from the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and stopped breathing.
Acts 12:24 But the word of God flourished and was being increased.
Acts 12:25 After they had completed their relief mission, Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, taking along John who was called Mark.
The inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon were afraid of losing their status before Herod, so they gladly buttered him up with praise when they heard him speak. Herod could have saved his own life by deflecting that praise and giving the glory to God. But he enjoyed the flattery. Little did he know that God’s “put up with Herod’s nonsense” meter was reaching full. It would be Herod’s last speech, and his most important. He had dared to murder a believer, and imprison another one. His campaign against the gospel of Christ came to an end because of the fatal flattery he heard that day.
Lord, may we be more interested in following your words than in hearing words of approval from others.